Bitcoin OTM in Beijing Lasted Less Than a Week under Regulatory Pressure
Bitcoin ATM services in China has once again proved to be hopeless after the first Bitcoin OTM (OTC Teller Machine) in Beijing was removed shortly after installation.
As Bitcoin ATMs are gaining traction throughout the world, the first Bitcoin OTM recently appearing in Beijing seemed like a giant leap forward for the country who holds a hostile approach toward bitcoin. However, the machine in a Beijing courtyard has already been removed.
What is Bitcoin OTM?
Different from a Bitcoin ATM which allows users to buy bitcoin by using cash or debit card, a BTC OTM acts as a go-between for bitcoin OTC (over-the-counter) transaction. Money paid by the buyer for bitcoin will go directly to the seller’s Alipay or WeChat.
If a trader wants to get some bitcoins via the machine, he needs to choose the amount he wishes to buy, and the machine will provide three offers from different sellers, choose the one he satisfies and pay via Alipay or WeChat, after that a card will come out from the machine and the trader need to scan the QR code on the card and input password via the Bitpay wallet to transfer the bitcoin in.
“Transactions via the machine are free of charge. Our profits come from machine sales.” said Liu Heming, the founder of the startup, “The price of bitcoin is not exactly in line with the market price, it depends on the seller’s offer”.
Why removal in haste?
The machine, installed in Beijing on May 14, has already been removed. It seemed the firm had chosen to retreat from the mainland in order to avoid potential policy risks though it is not illegal to trade and hold bitcoin within the territory.
“For policy reasons, we’ll not install any machines in mainland China,” Liu explained on May 20 that they are actually targeting overseas Chinese who use WeChat/Alipay.
According to Liu, they were invited to test the machine there and it was removed after the test run completed that day. While days ago when the machine was unveiled in Beijing, he stated, “the machine just helps people to buy bitcoin which is defined as a commodity in the country, and it is not illegal to trade and hold bitcoin.”
It is a new attempt from crypto firms to facilitate bitcoin transactions in the country, though it turns out to be another failure.
In April 2014, the country’s first Bitcoin ATM was installed in Shanghai at a time when the Chinese yuan dominated global bitcoin trades. The machine has been out of operation following the ICO ban in China.
According to CoinATMRadar, there are currently 4,823 bitcoin ATMs in 77 countries. The U.S. has the highest number of crypto ATMs, with 3,030 or 62.8% of the world’s BATMs, followed by Canada (696) and Austria (270).